The Lantern

New: “The Church in China Today” Course

From ChinaSource Institute

What you’re saying about Christianity in China is not the same as what I’ve heard. Isn’t Christianity illegal there?

A message from Joann Pittman

Recently I had the opportunity to give a talk based on my new book The Bells Are Not Silent: Stories of Church Bells in China. I related stories from my book about visiting churches, meeting with pastors, and finding bells.

During the Q&A time following my talk, one audience member shared that she was having a hard time squaring what I was talking about with her understanding of Christianity in China, namely that it is illegal and believers practice it at their peril. This gave me the opportunity to talk about the complexity of the situation for the church in China and to share with her the various dominant narratives that persist in the West.

Knowledge of the church in China is often limited to persecution narratives or outdated anecdotes. At ChinaSource, we are working hard to help people move beyond certain narratives and understand, not just the complexity of the church in China, but the exciting things that God is doing.

One of the avenues we use is the ChinaSource Institute, a platform through which we provide easily accessible, high-quality, professional services that are relevant and useful in equipping those who are serving China today. One service we provide is training delivered via two online courses that focus on the China context and are specifically designed to serve those involved in Christian ministry.

Course 1: Serving Well in China

In March of 2016, we launched our first course, “Serving Well in China: A Cultural Framework for Serving in China” and since then have had more than 1000 students enrolled.

The course:

  • is less a set of answers and more a framework with which to process the complexities of China,
  • offers tools to help you reconcile confusing situations or cultural differences with your cultural background and expectations,
  • is taught by myself and Amy Young, author of Looming Transitions: Starting and Finishing Well in Cross-cultural Service. Amy and I combined have nearly 40 years of experience preparing people for service in China.
  • is offered for $30.00. However, you can use the coupon code CHINASOURCE to enroll for $25.00.

Course 2: The Church in China Today

Last month we launched our second course, “The Church in China Today: It’s Not What You Think.”  The religious climate in China, especially for Christians, may be messy but it’s not beyond understanding.

This course:

  • offers a comprehensive overview of the church in China,
  • includes historical understanding, how far the church has come, the struggles it endures in present day, and common misconceptions about the state of the church,
  • is for those simply interested in China and for those looking to serve there,
  • provides excellent foundational knowledge on the church in China today,
  • is conducted by Dr. Brent Fulton, author of China's Urban Christians: A Light That Cannot Be Hidden,
  • is offered for $30.00. However, for a limited time, it is 50% off when you use the coupon code CHINACHURCH to enroll.

If you are one of the 1000+ people who enrolled in the first course, you’ll love the second one because it gives you a chance to go deeper.

If you are part of a larger group that is going to China to serve, whether long or short term, we offer larger discounts. Please contact for more information.

We know that summer is the time many people take vision trips or short-term trips to China. We believe that these courses, done in tandem, will help prepare you for more effective ministry. Now is the time to enroll!

Joann Pittman
Senior Vice-President, ChinaSource
Director, ChinaSource Institute

News and Notes

  • Hannah Lau spent the week of January 23 at International Community School in Singapore, speaking at their Spiritual Emphasis Week for middle-schoolers on the topic, “Who Am I?”
  • Also in January, Brent Fulton was interviewed by World Magazine on China's Overseas NGO Law. Watch for the article coming out soon.
  • On February 4 and 11, Joann Pittman gave talks on her book The Bells Are Not Silent: Stories of Church Bells in China at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis.
  • Brent Fulton spent two weeks this month in Thailand speaking at three conferences for cross-cultural workers. 

Ways to Pray

  • Thank God for the opportunities the ChinaSource team had to come alongside many organizations during the lunar holiday period.
  • Our latest ChinaSource Institute course, “The Church in China Today,” is now available online. Pray that it will be used of the Lord to equip many for effective long- and short-term service among the people of China.
  • ChinaSource is preparing to offer briefings and consulting services to organizations as they deal with the requirements of China’s new Overseas NGO Law, which went into effect on January 1. Ask the Lord to guide these efforts.
  • Pray for the ChinaSource board as they begin a process of long-range planning for ChinaSource. 

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ChinaSource Team

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